Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Wednesday 2nd June 1943

Hamad went today. He has gone to the Depot for discharge from the Army. He may join the Trans-Jordan Army in order to continue learning “language fighting”, or he may now be content to stay at home and work on his farm. (If the latter, he will grow a beard, and later send me a photograph!)“Language fighting!” exclaimed Store, “What vivid phrases he uses! It's better than if he spoke ordinary correct English.”

Before going, Hamad and I shook hands sternly. “Yinkin b'shuff aberdan,” I said sadly. “Never mind,” said Hamad, “Maybe you no go home. Maybe havin' leave, come my village.” He then said solemnly: “Elarziz el mahtaran Allah Y'futhoo when marahg.” (This is a sort of farewell blessing, difficult to translate: “My good friend, if you stay here, or if you travel many miles, may Allah watch you and keep you safe.”)

Everyone seems to be changing their beds. Sister Banks was on duty today and is definitely neurotic. She showed me the very official and formal report book, in which she had written, at the end of a brief summary of the behaviour and symptoms of various patients: “Sister Banks has developed a mania for changing patients' beds. Please treat her kindly.”

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